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New NIST microscope measures nanomagnet property vital to 'spintronics'
Date:3/15/2013

reen laser beams are merged to generate microwaves, which excite "spin waves"magnetic oscillations that vary with position across an individual nanomagnet, like waves in a bathtub. Polarized light from one laser is used to analyze the excitation pattern. By measuring excitation as a function of magnetic field and microwave frequency, researchers can deduce the damping of various spin waves in each nanomagnet.

Measurement and control of magnetic damping is crucial for spintronics, because the smaller the damping, the less energy is required to store a bit of data, and the less power a device requires to operate. The NIST study suggests that designing spintronic devices to have uniform spin waves could dramatically reduce the energy required to write a bit.

The new microscope is one outcome of an ongoing NIST effort to develop methods for measuring defects in magnetic nanostructures. At extremely small scales, defects dominate and can disrupt magnetic device behavior, resulting in errors in reading and writing information.


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Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert

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